Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011

Breast-Feeding School-Age Kids

There's lots of debate over how long to breast-feed, yet most Americans would agree that by the time a child reaches kindergarten, it's time to stop. But not Amanda Hurst. The 29-year-old mother made headlines in 2010 by defending her decision to breast-feed both her 6-year-old and her 5-month-old. And she's not the most extreme case. A 2006 British documentary, Extraordinary Breastfeeding, featured a mother who breast-fed her 8-year-old; viewers on YouTube have likened the practice to child abuse. And while nursing past the age of 1 is considered "extended breast feeding" in the U.S. and most Western countries, in India and parts of Africa, children are more commonly weaned later, usually between the ages of 3 and 4.